The Department of Science and Innovation – National Youth Service Programme was established in 2007/8. Its implementation is based on a three-year plan aligned to the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), The programme has since gone through three phases (2007/8- 2009/10, 2010/11 – 2012/13 and 2013/14 – 2015/16). Over this period, more than 1500 young people have benefited from the programme and 65 institutions supported the programme by providing placement for the young to serve communities.

The programme was initiated by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and it is being implemented by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) The NYSP and Host Programme targets participants who are within the (STEM) stream, host institutions participating are also invited to take part.


The National Youth Science Programme (NYSP) aims to address issues related to youth unemployment, particularly within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) stream, within the nine (9) provinces in South Africa.


The Youth into Science Strategy (YiSS).

The YiSS seeks to enhance youth’s access to STEMI, which should be understood in the following context:

    • Studying of mathematics, science and technology (MST) subject at school level (by young people)
    • Participation of young people in undergraduate and postgraduate STEM studies and
    • Eventually participation (of young people) in STEM careers, with a particular bias towards research and development
    • The Science Engagement Strategy – The SES intends to develop a society that is knowledgeable about science, critically engaged and scientifically literate.


The general goals of the NYS are the following:

  • Inculcate a culture of service by supporting youth to participate constructively in nation building activities
  • Inculcate in young people and understanding of their role in the promotion of civic awareness and national reconstruction.
  • Develop the skills, knowledge and abilities of young people to enable them to make the transition to adulthood.
  • Improve youth employability through opportunities for work experience, skills development and support to again access to economic and further learning opportunities.
  • Harness the nation’s untapped Human resource; and
  • Provide a vehicle for enhancing the delivery of the country’s development objectives, especially to disadvantage and underserved communities

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